From time to time, issues of CANADIAN AF-
FAIRS have been devoted to broad questions touching
the future of every Canadian*
But the time has come to get down to cases. So alter-
nating with the regular issues we shall publish a series
of Reconstruction Supplements, each dealing more
thoroughly with a narrower field of activity. If we
began alphabetically with Accountants, it might be
years before we reached the potential Toolmakers in
your group. (By the way, the Canadian Legion has pre-
pared excellent pamphlets for the Services* under the
general title "Let's Consider Jobs", outlining what is to
be expected of both these occupations, among many
After all, when we are qualified as accountants or
what not, we have still to choose among the very wide
variety of firms that may employ us. And we shall con-
tinue for the rest of our days to be affected by the
products and policies of each of Canada's major in-
dustries, no matter where we happen to work.
What service does the industry perform for Cana-
dians? What will be its role in a fully employed
Canada? What does it offer in pay and opportunities
to those looking for jobs? Is its trading position likely
to change? Is the Canadian public giving the industry
a boost? Is the industry returning the compliment?
This looks like a tall order. Let's have a look at
the Textile Industry, and see how many in your group
will bet their shirts on entering it, and how they may
August 4, fare as compared with the rest of the group, who'll be
1945 buying shirts — from them.
The streets of Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winni-
peg, Vancouver and points in between are displaying a
higher proportion of civilian clothes these days. They CONVERTING
aren't yet "civvy" streets, and won't be while the war ^0 CIVVIES
with Japan continues; but a lot of repats are out of
uniform already. Everywhere, there's a strange mixture
of 1939 and 1945 styles.
Getting clothes these days isn't too easy. Changing
back to civilian clothing production won't be complete,
of course, until after Japan is defeated. However some SHOPPING FOR
goods are beginning to appear in larger quantities. As
it stands now, the possession of a uniform helps a lot
in getting a suit. Service people have a priority for what
material there is.
Let's take a look at this clothing, or rather, textile
manufacturing business. What's involved in making THAT'S IT
"civvies"? Who does the work? Where do they do it? ALL ABOUT?
Where did our textile industry come from? Where is
it going? What's it like working at making cloth? What
are the possibilities for jobs?
The Place of Textiles in
We can start with a few general indications of the
place textiles occupy in the Canadian economy. Textile
manufacturing in 1939 employed about 18 out of every
100 Canadian workers in all manufacturing industries.
It turned out about #10 in each #100 worth of indus- WHFp - nn
trial products. The industry occupied 8 out of every TEXTILES STAND?
100 factories in the country. It paid #14 out of every
#100 paid in wages and salaries for all Canadian manu-
facturing. Of all the capital invested in Canadian
manufacturing, nearly 10% was invested in textile
plants. The cost-of-living experts believe that nearly
WORKERS, WAGES AND PRODUCTS
$ WAGES AND SALARIES
$ NET VALUE OF
AND A HALF
$12 out of every $100 is spent by the average family
on clothing. That puts textiles into the top brackets of
Canadian industry. By any standard you choose textiles
are in the first half-dozen industries.
Textiles Have a Long Past
Canada's clothing industry has a long history. We
used to recall it to tourists (in the days when there
wene tourists) by showing them highly-prized spinning
wheels and weaving looms carefully kept in the older
districts of the country. Some of these instruments
date back more than a century and a half. They used
to be standard home equipment like smoke-houses and
churns and other essentials of a self-sufficient com-
munity. But the home manufacturing plant is out now,
except in a few districts. Over a hundred years ago it
was replaced by the factory with automatic machines
to spin fibres into yarn, and power looms to weave yarn
into cloth. What had been a handicraft became an
The industry grew and played an increasingly im-
portant part in the business life of the country. As
Canada approached maturity, our grandfathers became
unwilling to see the country remain merely a source of
raw materials. The encouragement of the textile in-
dustry was one of the measures taken to develop a more
varied pattern of production. This meant that we could
manufacture finished goods as well as produce raw
Cotton fibres have long been available from the
United States and we have developed sources of power,
labour, and capital as we have needed them. It was the
Civil War in the United States which aided the de-
velopment of the cotton industry in Canada because of
its interference with the flow of cotton goods. We were COTTON
able to get the raw material, but we had to process it
ourselves. In the years that followed we developed an
important industry. By 1943 we had a cotton manu-
facturing industry in which the gross 4 value of produc-
tion was about #15,000,000.
The United States influenced the development of
Canada's woollen industry in another way. In this case
we had plenty of the raw material we needed but we
had exported much of it to the States for manufac-
turing into cloth. However, in 1866 the United States
imposed duties on Canadian wool that made it neces- WOOL
sary, as well as desirable, that we develop our own in-
dustry to use the wool and supply our own market. A
great deal of history is summed up in the fact that by
THE INDUSTRY SHRINKS & STRETCHES l
ESTABLISH- WAGES GROSS
MENTS & SALARIES PRODUCTION
EACH PLANT jjgj 300
EACH [I) $25,000,000
EACH UNIT Q 100,000,000
lu iw Li ]u L»
Q ffi Si ffij fiu
L L L L L L lc
S C C Q y m S; E
FROM 0.1.5. DATA
1942 the gross value of products of the woollen in-
dustry totalled #101,620,000.
The silk industry has developed largely since con-
federation and its importance has increased with the
SILK discovery of methods for producing artificial silk
(rayon). These fibres are referred to as synthetic
fibres. Between 1924 when the first artificial silk plant
was built in Cornwall, Ontario, and 1936, Canadian
artificial silk yarn production increased from just over
500,000 yards to nearly 14,000,000 yards annually. In
1935 the natural silk industry production had a gross
value of #446,000 against an artificial silk gross value
of #6,798,000. The formqr employed 186 workers and
the latter 2,169. By 1943 they had a gross value taken
together of #50,440,000.
These three materials are the sources of most of the
textiles we make in Canada. There are a great many
processes and people involved in changing them from
raw fibres into goods ready to take home,, It takes about
2,000 factories to accommodate the industry.
The factories aren't so romantic as the early devices
appear to us now, but they are more effective. They
can do more in a day than our ancestors could do in a
month. One operator can handle more than a hundred
automatic spindles — the machines that twist and wind
the thread. Corresponding efficiency with the looms
provides us with most of our cloth in much less time.
Published for use as discussion material in the Canadian Armed
Forces. Distributed to civilian groups through the Canadian
Council of Education for Citizenship. May be reprinted for
similar purposes, with or without acknowledgment.
Textile manufacturing is really a series of industries
— from those that secure the raw materials to those that
sew on buttons. The industries begin with three main
materials: cotton fibres, woollen fibres and synthetic
fibres. With each material the whole process is divided
into two parts known as primary and secondary.
The primary stage covers the processes required to
transform the animal, vegetable and synthetic fibres
(cotton and wool and silk) into threads and from
threads into cloth. Towels, blankets, underwear, ho-
siery, velvets, draperies, upholstery, tire fabrics, canvas
and carpets are all regarded as primary textile prod-
ucts, because they leave the loom almost ready to be
sold to the user.
In 1941, more than 85,000 Canadians were em-
ployed in primary textile processing. They were doing
the spinning, weaving, pattern designing, dyeing and TEXTILE JOBS
knitting required to transform raw materials into
various kinds of cloth.
The secondary textile industry uses this cloth for
the manufacture of innumerable articles ranging from
the cap on your head to the linoleum under your feet.
Among other things the industry produces men's suits
and women's dresses, hats, caps, haberdashery, corsets,
cotton and jute bags, oiled and waterproof clothing,
cordage, rope and twine, awnings, tents and sails, oil-
cloth, curtains, window blinds and backing for linoleum.
Just about every second person employed in the
textile business works at secondary textiles. Most of aSy TEXTILE
their occupations are known as the "needle" trades. A jobs
needle trade shop may employ a designer and a grader,
a few cutters, finishers, pressers, shippers and many
machine operators. The business details, as distinct
from the manufacturing processes, may provide em-
ployment for several salesmen, a small office staff and
a manager. These are some of the secondary textile
jobs. They are carried on in much smaller shops than
primary processes. Seventy-two thousand garment
workers and related trades-people do their work in
more than 1,400 factories — about 50 employees per
factory; while the eighty-five thousand primary work-
ers occupy fewer than 500 mills — 170 in each mill.
This multiplication of factories in the secondary
textile industry has resulted in a large group of middle-
men, known as jobbers, entering the textile business.
These jobbers buy cloth from the relatively few pri-
mary producers and sell it to the many garment shops.
There's a kaleidoscopic view of the industry. That's
what is meant by textiles and, in brief, that's how raw
materials get to be useful articles — from cotton plants
and sheeps' bodies and silk worms to furnishings for
homes and clothes for humans.
Where do they do it?
The great part of the textile business is located in
Quebec and Ontario, with some factories in the Mari-
times and Manitoba and a few in the other provinces.
Much of the primary industry is centered in smaller
cities where available power, plentiful labour and lower
taxes are attractions. Many of these communities are
almost 'company towns' built around the industry and
dependent on it. The butchers and barbers and mer-
chants earn their living by serving the textile workers.
Thus in addition to their own employees, the textile
companies afford a living to a great number of others,
and in turn, their ups and downs are quickly felt
through the whole community.
The primary textile industry is one of the few manu-
facturing industries which has contributed to the
growth of many small towns rather than of the large
metropolitan centres like Toronto and Montreal.
Who does it?
The ratio of women to men is higher in the textile
industry than it is in most others. In 1934 female wage-
earners formed less than 25% of the total number of
wage-earners in all manufacturing industries in Canada.
At the same time, in various branches of the textile in-
dustry, they averaged nearly 45%. Even this high per-
centage was lower than the average in textile plants
In 1941 there were 41,000 men and 36,000 women
in the primary textile wage-earner class. The salaried
class of primary textile employees (managers, super-
visors, chemists, engineers, clerical staff and so on) con-
sisted of 5,000 men and 3,000 women.
In secondary textiles, there were 19,000 male and
42,000 female wage-earners, with 7,000 male and 3,000
female salaried personnel. This distinction between
wage-earners and salaried groups is accounted for by
the fact that most textile employees are paid on an
hourly basis. It will be seen that primary textiles have
just about 10% in the salaried class, while in secondary
textiles the percentage is between 15% and 20%.
The industry employs proportionately more young
people than others do. 1931 figures show that all manu-
facturing industries considered together employ just
over 20% of their male help, and just under 60% of
the female employees, under 25 years of age. In the
woollen, cotton and hosiery divisions of textiles, well
over 40% of male employees and about 70% of female
employees are under 25.
What is it like working
at Textile Making?
Nowadays very little muscular effort and only a
moderate term of training are required for most opera-
tions in the making of cloth; this accounts partly for
the number of women and young persons employed.
While great physical strength is not required, re-
sistance to mental and physical strain is. The machines
work at high speed and require constant watching.
There are no diseases specifically associated with textile
occupations in the way that silicosis is associated with
mining. But heat, humidity, lint, dust, dye and noise
all contribute to nervous strain and physical disorders.
Mills differ in the quality of their ventilation systems
and the conveniences and facilities provided for em-
ployees. In the report of the Royal Commission on the
Textile Industry (Ottawa 1938) it is pointed out that
"while improvements are made from time to time the
conditions in many mills are still below modern factory
When it came to report on working hours, the
Commission noted that the textile industry in Canada
had to be placed alongside those in the least advanced
group of nations. "As the situation now is", the Report
said in 1938, "Canada is still in the first group with
China, India and Japan".
The knitted goods division was the only branch of
our textile industry in which, before the war, the Com-
mission found as many as a quarter of the workers en-
joying a normal work week of 48 hours or less.
During the war years, however, hours of work in the
textile industry have not been very different from the
average for the other leading Canadian manufacturing
Management in the primary textile industry has
with few exceptions been slow to accept the principle
of collective bargaining, despite the fact that its inter-
national counterparts in Britain, the United States and
continental Europe have long accepted the practice or
August 4 f 1945
THE demand for homes is so
urgent that one scheme after
another is being undertaken to get
the work moving on thousands of
new dwellings. The Dominion
Government, through Wartime
Housing Limited and by agree-
ment with various municipalities,
has already built 1,123 houses of
a permanent or semi-permanent
type for rent to ex-members of the
Armed Forces or to dependents of
those still in the forces, and has
another 1,414 houses under con-
struction or under negotiation — be-
sides some 17,000 wartime houses
built for workers in war plants.
Recently, the part that can be
played by insurance companies in
helping to finance home-building
has been under discussion.
Now the government has put
forward a plan which would clear
the way for the building industry
to start house construction on a
very large scale. Briefly, the idea
is that a builder (or group of
builders) who undertakes to build
houses for sale to servicemen and
ex-servicemen, will be able to
borrow money under the National
Housing Act (N.H.A.) on the
same basis as a man who under-
takes to build for himself. The
builder, under such an arrange-
ment, will have to develop a
substantial area of land in ac-
cordance with plans approved by
the N.H.A. ; the houses will be
of good low-cost types, also ap-
proved by the N.H.A.; and they
must be sold only to members or
ex-members of the Armed Forces
or their dependents, at least until
they are finished and ready. Each
house will be sold at not more
than $350, $425 or $500 above
its lending value, depending on
whether it has two, three or four
bedrooms. (The lending value*
will be determined in advance for
each house in each project by the
N.H.A., at approximately the
estimated cost of construction.)
The government, for its part,
will undertake to buy, at its
lending value, any house that may
remain unsold a year after con-
struction. Builders will be as-
sisted to obtain materials, and
labour for this job will be given
the highest priority.
PLAN TO CO-OPERATE WITH NEIGHBOURS
Before coming into the Army three years ago, I worked with my brother-in-law on his farm. I
have no investment in the farm myself, but took special interest in everything just as though I
had. I worked on a percentage basis mostly.
On my discharge from the Army, could I buy a farm located near him and have it equipped, to as
great an extent as money permits, under the Veterans' hand Act? My plan would be to farm
about 160 acres, but I could not do this as I wish without quite a lot of machinery. Is there any
rule which prevents us from continuing to work together, with the machinery he has and what
new stock I can get? — Tpr, Barrie, Ont.
You would seem to be in a good position to start farming under V.L.A. In particular,
the V.L.A. officials encourage a veteran to co-operate with established farmers in the
neighbourhood, exchanging where possible the use of machinery in order to economise.
YOU MIGHT TAKE UP CROWN LAND
I want to get started again in the mink-raising business, in conjunction with fishing, but I would
need more capital for land, buildings, breeding stock, cages, boats and gear than I could get
under the V.L.A. Can you tell me how I might be able to finance the undertaking!
— Gnr, 2nd, HAA, RCA, CAOS.
Some of the provincial governments are co-operating with the Dominion Government
to settle veterans on Crown lands under the V.L.A. You might be able to find a
suitable location for your mink farm on wild land which you could get on quite
favourable terms. Under the V.L.A. an outright grant of up to $2,320 may be made
to a veteran settling on provincial lands, for purchase of commercial fishing equip-
ment, fur farming equipment (not including breeding stock) building material, farm
livestock, machinery and household equipment. Get in touch with the Department
of Lands and Mines of the province where you intend to settle.
4 'LEARNING-EARNINGS' '
In Civvy Street News of February 15th, 1945, it states that "learning-earnings" are fixed
at about 80 per cent of the rate of pay ordinarily received by a fully trained person in the same
line of work.
I have about three years of my apprenticeship to complete in a composing room. The scale of pay
for a journeyman in my home town is ninety cents per hour. Does this mean that if I go back
to complete the learning of my trade, the least hourly rate of pay I can expect from the company
and the Department of Veterans Affairs jointly will run around seventy-two cents per hour?
— Coder, HMC Ship.
First we must distinguish between two things: on the one hand, reinstating employees
in their former jobs, and on the other hand, training on the job for new workers in an
KNOW YOUR REHAB RIGHTS:
FREE MEDICAL TREATMENT • CLOTHING ALLOWANCES • REHABILITATION GRANT • REINSTATEMENT IN JOBS
IE-ESTABLISHMENT CREDIT • A HOME OUTSIDE TOWN • FARMING OPPORTUNITIES • VOCATIONAL TRAINING
UNIVERSITY TRAINING • MAINTENANCE GRANTS
How do they work? How do they affect YOUR future? They are all part of Canada's
Rehabilitation Program, designed to help you on the road ahead. Keep informed. Send
in your questions to Editor, Civvy Street News, Wartime Information Board, Ottawa.
Extra copier of Civvy Street News are available on request.
Contents may be reprinted with or without acknowledgment.
industry. If any man who is an apprentice enlists in the Armed Forces, his employer
is obliged by law to re -employ him after discharge. The wage to be paid depends then,
we believe, on the terms of the apprentice agreement or indenture under which he was
originally engaged. If the agreement calls for increases in wages based on length of
service, then your service in the forces would count as service with the employer, for
this purpose. However, if your agreement calls for wage increases based on increasing
skill, you would probably be re-engaged at the same wage as when you left the em-
ployer, unless you have increased your trade skill while in the forces.
It doesn't seem as if the training-on-the-job plan would exactly apply to your case.
Where would I apply for Veterans Insurance! — Ex-Cpl, N.B.
You can apply through any of the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation
Centres in Canada, or write to the Superintendent of Veterans Insurance, Department
of Veterans Affairs, Daly Building, Ottawa.
MAKE THE MOST OF V.L.A. TERMS
/ plan soon after discharge to take up a small holding under the V.L.A. Can I do most of
the actual work on my house ', and hire contractors to do some of the more difficult jobs, such as
plumbing and tinsmithing? This would cut down labour costs. Can I use the $6 ; 000 allotted
for property and buildings alone, or must I use only $4,800 for buildings ard land, and the
other $1 ,200 for furniture and tools? —LAC, RCAF, B.C.
We should think you could work on your own house, as you suggest, if your work-
manship is reasonably sound.
Under the V.L.A. it is possible to use up to $6,000 for land and buildings; but remember
that 10% of the value of land and buildings is required as a down payment, and % of
their value must be repaid. Whereas if part of the available funds, up to $1,200, is
used for buying stock and equipment instead, it does not have to be repaid, provided
the veteran sticks to his contract for 10 years.
STUDY MUST HAVE AN AIM
/ intend to go on to the University as soon as I am discharged, to take the Arts course which I had
been planning. Can I choose my subjects quite freely, or do I have to follow a set program!
—Lieut (S), WRCNS.
In order to qualify for assistance under the rehabilitation scheme, you will have to
prove to the satisfaction of your rehabilitation counsellor that the courses and subjects
you enroll for will actually help you to make a living later on.
NOBODY ARRIVING IN CANADA
will have far to look for a job, at least
while conditions remain as they are now.
The Dominion Department of Labour
reveals that in mid-July there were 128,000
jobs to be filled throughout Canada, with
less than 50,000 workers registered as
seeking employment. Industries that are
seriously short-handed at present are farm-
ing, building construction, mining, pulp-
wood cutting, west coast logging, and
shipbuilding on both coasts. Women
workers are needed for textile mills, cloth-
ing factories, hosiery mills, food processing
plants and rubber factories, as well as for
hospitals, sanatoria and other services.
WHAT GOES ON IN THE DEPT. OF
Veterans Affairs is indicated by a report of
the rehabilitation officials of the Montreal
division for the month of June. They
received calls from 1,517 employers, in-
volving 4,483 jobs; placed 1,657 veterans;
counselled 2,177 regarding their occupa-
tions, including 54 taking university
courses and 93 in vocational training;
interviewed 1,740 regarding re-establish-
ment credits and approved 727 applications,
involving over $115,000.
Over the past three years, these rehabili-
tation officials have dealt with 10,000
people, from all services, and have found
that failures are comparatively few. They
are urging employers, who keep asking
chiefly for men under thirty, to realize that
a large proportion of veterans are older,
and to change their employment policies
ALEX WALKER, DOMINION PRES-
ident of the Canadian Legion, on his
return from an overseas tour, urged the
government to ensure that no permanent
appointments to Civil Service positions
shall be made until members of the forces
have an equal opportunity with others to
compete for them. The Prime Minister
replied that permanent appointments are
being made only in the cases of veterans,
civilians who qualified prior to the war
and have been continuously employed since,
and a very limited number of persons with
special technical qualifications not to be
found in sufficient numbers in the Armed
THAT PRE-ENLISTMENT JOB IS YOURS
if you want it, but you have to go back
within three months after discharge in
order to claim it. Just to make sure the
former employer can check with you on
whether he should hold the position open,
the Depot now informs him immediately
upon your discharge, gi-^ing the date and
your civilian address.
A NEW INDUSTRY FOR THE NORTH-
land is fishing on a commercial scale in
Great Slave Lake, NWT. Forty or fifty
gill-net fishermen are now at work catch-
ing whitefish and trout, which will be
quick-frozen and shipped in refrigerated
barges to railhead at Waterways, Alta.
COLLEGE PREPARATORY COURSES
for veterans, beginning in September, are
offered by Sir George Williams College,
Montreal, in co-operation with McGill
University. About a hundred ex-service
men and women are now enrolled in such
FOR AMBITIOUS NEWSWRITERS, A
four-year B.A. course in journalism is
being offered this fall by the University of
Western Ontario, London, Ont. This
course will be the first of its kind in Canada.
TO HELP MEET THE INCREASED
costs of dealing with student veterans, the
Canadian government will pay a supple-
mentary grant of $150 to any university in
Canada for each person enrolled there
whose tuition fees are paid by the Depart-
ment of Veterans Affairs.
HOW MUCH FOR HOW LONG?...
= 10* PER HR.
HOURS PER WEEK
JL =10 HOURS
even encouraged it as a logical development. In the
textile industry labour organizations have progressed
Labour in the secondary textile industry has always
been better organized than it has been in the primary
Canada has had control of the capital invested in
the textile industry. British and American interests
have invested substantially in Canadian textiles but not CAPITAL
nearly to the point of control. In 1933 the largest non-
Canadian investment was a 23^2% share of the hosiery
industry held by United States capital.
Relations among the directors and managers in the
primary industry have been very close. Woollen, cot-
ton and silk manufacturers have each had separate
trade associations and a common Primary Textile In-
stitute. Most of these trade associations set themselves
four main objectives: (a) to provide a single voice for
the industry in the various legislative centres; (b) to
promote the sale of Canadian textiles abroad; (c) to
foster the goodwill of the general public; (d) to ex-
change ideas among the member firms. The Royal Com-
mission found that these associations devoted their
main attention to two activities, described as "the pro-
motion of tariff protection and the regulation of com-
petition among their members".
Apart from the manufacture of cellulose acetate
yarns and viscose yarn in the artificial silk industry,
there are no absolute monopolies (complete control of
an industry by one company) in Canadian textiles. But
there have been close working relations, among the
primary textile companies in particular.
Organization of the Textile Industry
A Royal Commission study of industry reported in
1937 that the characteristic form of organization in the
textile industry is the incorporated company operating
under federal or provincial government charters. Con-
centration of control hadn't developed nearly as much
as in other industries. However, different groups of
companies in the industry represented different phases
of competitive business. Competition was sharpest in
the woollen group where the largest single company
had only 12.5% of the total sales of the group.
In the biggest group in all textiles, cotton manufac-
turers, the largest company, together with a controlled
subsidiary, had 48% of the total sales. Two other com-
panies together had 31% of the sales, which left 21%
for the remaining companies.
The Commission noted an increasing degree of con-
centration in the whole primary textile industry through
interlocking directorates, at least. So that, while no two
or three very large corporations dominated the field,
nevertheless the presence of the same management in-
terests in important units in different fields (such as
cotton, woollen, silk and knit goods) suggested the pos-
sibility of such a development.
IN THE WAR
The pictographs tell part of the wartime story of
Canadian textiles more completely and vividly than a
few words can. But the whole story is bigger than charts
Early in the war it became clear that individual
members of the United Nations could not solve their
production and manufacturing problems alone. The
factors involved were too great. Resources and pro-
cessing plants and labour were not easily to be found
in the proper proportions in all places.
Therefore, the Combined Production and Resources
Board was set up to co-ordinate production and dis-
tribution. Through it, Canada, the United States and
the United Kingdom were able to make best use of
their natural resources in meeting the demands of war.
The Board had a very large influence on the textile
business, among other industries.
The Canadian industry, which had always drawn
heavily on the United Kingdom and the United States
for textile fibres with which to make its cloth, was at
the outset of the war able to continue the practice; but
it had to satisfy the Combined Board officials that it
was making the maximum contribution with the
Production figures over the war years show what
Canada was able to do with those resources. There
were several major jobs. In the first place we had our
own armed forces to clothe and equip. We had respon-
sibility, too, for meeting some British and other Allied
clothing needs. Finally, there were some civilian re-
quirements which could not be neglected.
In order to maintain any kind of balance between
HAVE A PLACE
textiles available and textiles required with competing
demand and controlled supply, uncertain labour supply
and urgent need, it was obviously necessary to have
controls at work. The controls were operated through
the Wartime Prices and Trade Board which was set up
to handle just such problems.
The Board emphasized maximum production of
essentials rather than prohibition of non-essentials.
When more greatcoats or parachutes or webbing were
needed, it saw to it that the plants manufacturing these
articles got the materials they needed. When civilian
needs became urgent, whether for children's shoes or
women's underwear, allocations of the quantities re-
quired were made to manufacturers by the W.P.T.B.
The allocations were known as "production directives."
These "production directives" not only made available
such things as woollen fabrics (in the case of a textiles
directive) but also other materials essential to the
product, such as elastic, zippers, leather and so on. The
"directives" also helped the factories to secure neces-
sary labour through National Selective Service. In
every case that "directives" were issued, the companies
concerned had to account for the use of the materials.
This system of directives was begun in July 1943
and is still being used (summer 1945). In every case
directives raised production to higher levels.
Price and Quality Controls
Efforts were made by the Wartime Prices and Trade
Board not only to control the prices of clothing but
also to ensure that the quality was maintained. The
standards were strengthened in 1944 and 1945 by a
series of orders requiring manufacturers to identify
themselves by labelling practically all garments and
footwear sold in the retail market. In addition, re-
tailers were required to attach a price tag to practically
every item of men's, women's and children's clothing.
The Board maintains an inspection staff to ensure the
enforcement of these and other orders which control
the prices and quality of textile products*
In general, textile production during the war
reached proportions far beyond what was expected.
Production of woollen fabrics has increased about 40%
over pre-war days. Cotton fabrics rose between 18%-
40%; the production of rayon fabrics practically
The textile production job was accomplished in the
face of a continuously inadequate labour supply.
Labour priorities possessed by munitions manufacturers
and other war industries, combined with the attractions
of higher wage industries left textiles with problems of
inexperience, inefficiency, absenteeism and rapid staff
turnover — all of which impaired production.
Labour and Management
These conditions required the very closest of co-
operation between labour and management. Part of
this was achieved through the establishment of Labour-
Management Production Committees. Alongside their
importance in some other industries the Labour-Man-
agement Production Committees appear to have played
only a very minor role in this one. By March 1945,
there were 23 such committees in the textile industry,
representing a total of 6,550 workers. Labour-Manage-
ment Production Committees provide ? 'a two-way
channel of communication between management and
In general, as cabinet ministers pointed out, the
committees served "to increase the output of war goods,
to lower costs, and to improve efficiency". They "pro-
moted industrial co-operation by creating a better
understanding and mutual confidence between manage-
ment and labour".
Their benefits to production through the elimina-
tion of bottlenecks and the improvement of production
methods were important. The committees were also of
value in improving the workers' lot.
During the war years, labour has made many gains*
PLENTY TO DO
Working conditions in primary textiles particularly
have improved: improved by installation of cafeterias,
and rest rooms; holidays with pay; by the establish-
ment of up-to-date personnel departments; by afford-
ing instruction to beginners and by the organization of
social and welfare projects.
The 1945 Manual of the Textile Industry of Canada
claimed that "while employers in all sections of textiles
have, in general, refused to accept the principle of the
closed shop, they have, in many cases, welcomed efforts
on the part of workers to extend unionization". The
extent to which workers in textiles have actually ex-
tended organization during the war years is indicated
by the figures. Available figures show a wartime in-
crease in primary textile union membership from over
10,000 in 1939 to 17,000 in 1943; while in secondary
textiles there was an increase from 20,000 to over 26,000
Most important of the gains made by labour has
been that of wages. Rough estimates of increases in
individual weekly earnings in four main divisions of
textiles between 1939 and 1944 follow:
Cotton yarn 8C cloth 54%
Woollen yarn 8C cloth 47%
Silk & artificial silk 38%
Garments 8C furnishings 51%
Notwithstanding these improvements in wages,
more continuous employment, union status, and gen-
eral conditions, and in spite of urgent textile needs,
far more workers were needed in textiles in the summer
of 1945 than in any other manufacturing industry.
Textile requirements following the defeat of Ger-
many were no less urgent than before. Civilian needs
at home increased with the repatriation of service per-
sonnel. UNRRA, Red Cross and other relief require-
ments had greatly increased. Military commitments
both for Canadian forces and for the Allies had still
to be met.
At the same time, textile yarns and fibres previously
available from Great Britain and the United States
were more difficult to secure.
AFTER THE WAR
The future of the industry in Canada cannot be
separated from the future of the whole of Canada's
economy — iron and steel industry, chemicals, pulp and
paper, construction, and all the rest of our manufac- 1^^]™?!!
turing industries. Textiles are essential commodities ECONOMY
but the demand for textiles is more flexible than, say,
the demand for foodstuffs, and that means it will be
affected more seriously by employment fluctuations.
The immediate post war objectives of the textile
industry are perfectly clear cut. The transition period
will be needed to replace obsolete and worn machinery
with modernized and new equipment as soon as REBUILDING
materials, machinery and labour become available. The
industry plans some new buildings and renovated
plants, but it does not expect a large expansion of
If the increased wage rates which have been gained
by workers during the war are to be maintained they
must be protected by increased plant and manu-
Increased efficiency in operation must also be con-
tinuously sought to put the textile industry in a better
position to compete if lower tariffs should result from
post-war international trade agreements. The textile TARIFFS
industry has been protected from American and British
textile competition by means of tariffs imposed on tex-
tile imports. The possibility of removing this tariff
protection would mean an important readjustment in
The industry does not have the problem of re-tool-
ing which faces some other industries. Civilian textiles NO RETOOLING
are made with the same type of machinery and labour
force as are used for military textiles. As a result, it is
one of the few industries which can turn immediately
from war to peace production.
Jobs in the Industry
The major problem facing the industry in the sum-
mer of 1945 is a reduced skilled labour supply in all
branches. Available statistics indicated that in May
1945, there were about 150,000 full time employees in
the Canadian textile industry. About the same time a
survey conducted by the Financial Post indicated a
shortage of about 10,000 workers, largely in primary
That shortage plus the number of present employees
who leave the industry after the war for reasons of
HELP WANTED age, health, families and so on indicates the number
of workers the industry will require for the conversion
Beyond that period, the textile industry must con-
tinue to operate with the same proportions of human
and natural resources if it is to play its part in a Cana-
dian economic effort aiming at full employment.
In other words, there are employment opportunities
in the textile industry at the present time. Further,
there are satisfactory assurances that everything the
industry can produce will be required for the full
transition period between war and peace.
It is an industry in which skilled labour is needed
and in which the conversion from simplified wartime
styles to the more attractive and varied peace-time
designs will offer oppottunities for those equipped and
interested. The industry itself is giving attention to
instruction methods for both experienced and inex-
perienced employees, as well as to the need for
In general terms, the industry is looking for work-
ers. The greater number of its recruits, to judge from
what we have seen, will be in the younger age groups.
And most of them will need only a moderate amount
of training. There is a good chance that someone in
your group will be among those workers.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Here are two ways of getting at some of the central facts
and problems mentioned in the article:
1. The page references in the parentheses below refer to
sources of material on a few of the issues involved.
(a) On the proportion of women and young people in the
industry. (9 & 10).
(b) On the subjects of wages, hours, and union organi-
zation. (9, 11 & 16).
(c) On the industry's interest in research and training.
(</) On the question of public assistance for the industry
(e) On the increase in employment and production during
the war. (4, 15 8C 16).
2, For getting at specific factual information contained in
the article direct questions may be useful. Here are some
(a) What processes are included in the primary textile
(b) From what countries does Canada import most of the
textile fibres she needs? (13).
(c) What is a 'production directive'? (14).
id) In what Canadian provinces are most textiles manu-
(e) What are some objectives of Trade Associations? (12).
(/) What does the average family spend on clothing? (4).
(g) What does a jobber do? (8).
(h) What is the difference between a salaried worker and
a wage earner? (10).
CANADIAN AFFAIRS Reconstruction Supplements are intended for those in
the Services who want to discuss realistically the Canada in which they will
work after the war. The Supplements are prepared by the Wartime Informa-
tion Board and will appear fortnightly, alternating with the regular issue of
DESIGNED BY THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD
OTTAWA : KDMOND CLOUTIER, PRINTER TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY
PRINTED IN CANADA, 1945.